Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has joined the roster of the House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee (which funds State Department exchange programs), filling a vacancy created by the departure of Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), who takes a seat on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee. This change came last Wednesday when the House Democratic Caucus adopted membership changes in Appropriations Subcommittee assignments.
On the heels of yesterday’s Policy Monitor item regarding broad Congressional support for a robust international affairs budget in FY 2011, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) reports that Senate Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad (D-ND) cut President Obama’s FY 11 international affairs budget request by $4 billion, or 7 per cent.
Several senators, including Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Dick Lugar (R-IN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Appropriations Ranking Member Judd Gregg (R-NH) in support of President Obama’s proposed $6.1 billion increase in the foreign operations budget, calling it “an essential component of our national security,” CQ Today reported.
With a record number of participants—83—the Alliance held its 10th annual Advocacy Day on Thursday, March 4. Alliance members participating in this year’s Advocacy Day visited 104 House and Senate offices and represented a record 26 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
(At right: Advocacy Day participant Ana Gil-Garcia, representing the Fulbright Association, with Illinois Senators Roland Burris and Dick Durbin.)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified at four separate Congressional hearings in the past two days to discuss the Department of State budget request for FY 2011. She appeared before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, and then in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations today.
The Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget, released on Monday, requested $58.5 billion for the entire international affairs budget (or 150 Account), representing a $6.1 billion (or 11.6 per cent) increase over total FY 2010 enacted international affairs spending. As the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition reports, nearly 60 per cent of this increase would go to “Frontline States,” including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, leaving a modest growth of $2.5 billion for all other international affairs programs. If enacted, the FY 2011 international affairs budget would be 2.8 per cent above actual FY 2010 amounts, including supplemental appropriations.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced on Friday the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (see the full bill here). Described in a press release from Kerry and Lugar as “comprehensive bi-partisan legislation,” this authorization would “provide authority, policy guidance, and operational oversight to the State Department.”
Last night, the Senate rejected a complex amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to rescind $120 billion from the federal budget, including funding for exchange and international education programs. The amendment would have reduced funding for the Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program; the Defense Department’s National Security Education Program; the Department of Education’s Title VI and Fulbright Hays Programs; and the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation.
The full conference agreement for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for FY 2010 is now available for download on the House Appropriations Committee website. The below chart details the allocations of the exchanges budget for FY 2010 (with FY 08 and 09 comparisons). Also download the chart in Excel format.